In this observational study, researchers are looking at whether irreversible electroporation (also known as IRE) added to standard treatment is more effective at treating pancreatic cancer.
How IRE Works
Irreversible electroporation (brand name NanoKnife) is a method of removing body tissue using high-energy pulses of electricity. The electrical pulses create permanent pores in the membranes of the cells of the tissue. This causes the cells to die. A person undergoing this treatment is put under general anesthetic before electrode needles are inserted through the skin and placed around the tumor. Electrical pulses then move between the needles for a specific amount of time. If the technique is needed to treat cancer in more than one location, the needles are moved, until all areas indicated have undergone IRE treatment.
There are a number of advantages to IRE. It does not generate a lot of heat, so the side effects seen with heat-based techniques (such as inflammation) do not occur. IRE does not affect the surrounding veins, ducts, and nerves, so it has great potential use on tumors that involve those tissues. And it is generally well tolerated.
Which Treatment Provides a Better Outcome?
To participate in this study, patients must have stage III (locally advanced) pancreatic cancer. All participants will receive standard treatment for their stage of disease; half will also receive NanoKnife treatment. Researchers will receive status updates regarding the health of all participants, to determine whether adding NanoKnife to standard of care increases survival.
We encourage you to consult your physicians for clinical trials that may be right for you. The website ClinicalTrials.gov provides more details about this trial as well as many others. You can visit the EmergingMed Trial Finder for a listing of all active pancreatic cancer clinical trials.